January 26, 2012

In Another Life

"Here, you ride my bike. I'll run beside."
"No thanks, we'd have to adjust the seat and stuff," I said, looking down at the icy road. "I'll run beside."
"No," Lukas said, "That won't work. You can just ride on the back."
"Is that really smart, with the hills and the ice?"
"I mean, we might fall, but it's not a problem."
And before I knew it I was balancing on the metal bit on the back of the bike, trying to keep my legs in as tight as I could without hitting the pedals or the wheels, and my face was buried in Lukas' backpack so deep I could just barely see the swirling snow in my peripheral vision, only tell we were going up or downhill from the gravity and the sounds of the changing gears.

We didn't fall. We got into the building and met the others, and started picking out skis. And ski boots, and ski poles, and shovels, and probes, and skins. And then they taught my how to stuff the skins in the boots, tie the boots together and throw them around my neck, and I shoved the probe and shovel and poles along my right wrist and balanced the skis over my left shoulder, and found I could actually walk that way, all the way down the hillside and across town to the bus stop leading home.

Catching a reflection of myself in a passing building, I think I only looked ridiculous because I recognized myself.

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